Dr Rebecca Wragg Sykes is an archaeologist, author and Honorary Fellow in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. Her critically acclaimed and bestselling first book KINDRED: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art is a deep dive into the 21st century science and understanding of these ancient relatives.
Winner of the 2021 PEN Hessell-Tiltman prize for history; awarded Book of the Year by Current Archaeology; selected as one of 2021's 100 Notable Books by The New York Times, a Book of the Year by The Sunday Times, Book of the Week by The Times and Book of the Day by The Guardian, KINDRED is being translated into 19 languages so far.
Alongside her academic expertise and consultancy work, Rebecca has earned a reputation for exceptional public communication, with her writing featuring in The New York Times, The Times, The Guardian, Aeon and elsewhere. She is a popular speaker, appearing on a variety of programmes for BBC Radio 3 and 4 such as Front Row, Start The Week, The Infinite Monkey Cage and Free Thinking as well as numerous other radio and podcasts.
Fascinated by the past since childhood– including digging for pot sherds in the family garden–, Rebecca studied archaeology through to PhD level. She was especially drawn to the ancient world of the Palaeolithic. Her doctoral thesis, awarded in 2010, was the first synthesis of evidence for late Neanderthals in Britain, and she has since accrued numerous academic publications on their broader archaeology.
Following a prestigious Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship at Université de Bordeaux on Neanderthal and prehistoric landscapes in the Massif Central mountains, from 2015 she diversified into working outside scientific research, and is currently an Honorary Fellow at the University of Liverpool.
Her current projects include research for her second book, plus popular science writing, and consultancy work.
As one of the four founders of TrowelBlazers, another strand of Rebecca's work since 2013 has been highlighting the role of women past and present in archaeology and the earth sciences. This includes writing and editing many biographies for the popular website, and projects including co-creating the Fossil Hunter Lottie action figure. Most recently she collaborated with artist Leonora Saunders to create the touring portrait exhibition Raising Horizons, culminating at the UK Houses of Parliament 2018 'Women Firsts' event celebrating one hundred years of women's suffrage.
Further developing this interest, Rebecca is active in current movements to advance equality within the archaeological professions, including being part of the Inclusive Archaeology project, and working collectively with organisations including British Women Archaeologists.
Rebecca is represented by: Patrick Walsh, PEW Literary
Kindred publicity: UK - Amy.Greaves@bloomsbury.com;